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Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.
Jason Leach | 09.30.2019

What does a year of new adventures look like? And how might those adventures change throughout the months and seasons in a calendar year? With our 12 Months of Adventure content series, we'll be diving into exactly that.

For each month throughout 2019, we'll be highlighting a different outdoor activity/focus and inviting you to follow along and take on a new adventure (or 12). Tapping the expertise of our knowledgeable Contributors, we'll be providing educational resources, how-to tips, and trip ideas and excursions—so you can get out and start racking up adventure time, pronto.


Snowy owls sometimes make a cameo in southern latitudes during winter. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.


12 Months of Adventure: October - Wildlife Viewing + Fishing

September: Hiking + Backpacking | November: Stewardship, Conservation + Volunteering

Transition could describe the central theme of October. Leaves continue to change, wildlife begin migration and winter preparations in earnest, and the weather can create rapid and dramatic shows. Providing a much needed stopgap for humans and animals alike, October is a great month to find wildlife! Elk rutting in Rocky Mountain National Park, sea turtles nesting in Florida, birds of prey hunting over open waters, spawning fish, and so much more—this is the month to experience nature in its raw, wild form.

For the uninitiated, seeing wildlife while adventuring seems like a given. After all, isn't that one of the main points of being outside or visiting parks? Experiencing animals in the wild forever seems to holds a mystique over us as humans. Just watch how quickly traffic piles up as people scramble to catch a glimpse of a moose licking salt from the edge of a road. As summer heat gives way to cooler temperatures, wildlife tend to be out in the open longer. Often they are preoccupied with mating or winter preparations, which can mean greater viewing opportunities, but also a potential for close calls—so be mindful.

The bugle of a male elk or the sharp crash from rutting bighorn sheep can amplify your outdoor experience in a way that makes other seasons feel comparatively quiet. Bighorn sheep tremble as they lock horns in gripping battles for dominance between the most majestic animals in the backcountry. You can see the herd gathering to the call of a bull elk, branches breaking as they move unimpeded through the forests. While sightings in other seasons seems like a gift, sightings in fall feel like a dramatic movie playing out in full effect, where the wind and birds provide the musical score.

For those more drawn to water, rivers and streams heat and cool more rapidly throughout the day. This cycle showcases a variety of life, interrupting the gentle whooshing of water with an orchestra of sounds. Bugs rise as water warms, grasshoppers chirp, and fish often put on quite the show leaping from the water and landing with a sharp splash. Aggressively hunting for food while traveling back to their spawning grounds, these fish migrations often draw the attention of foraging eagles and other birds. Incredible fishing displays of controlled dives and pinpoint accuracy often leave the viewer in awe of these powerful birds of prey. These sights and sounds play out across an ever-changing scene as the forests and prairies shift gears for the season. 

Take advantage of October’s unrivaled opportunities to venture out and explore what your local spaces have to share with you!


Tips, Tricks + How Tos


Adventure Recommendations

We hope you get inspired by 12 Months of Adventure and are able to take on some new adventures this year. Don't forget to let us know about your spring photo adventures by tagging your photos #12MonthsofAdventure on Instagram and by adding a comment/photos in the comments section below. Happy trails!


The 12 Months of Adventure:

From mountaineering to outdoor photography, from paddling pastimes to environmental stewardship, 12 Months of Adventure aims to cover a breadth of interests that connects everyone in a deeper way with the outdoors. Follow along each month with a new 12 Months of Adventure focus:


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